1. ITV Report

Rural crime in Cumbria is increasing

Cumbrian farms are vulnerable as they are often isolated Photo: Richard Down

Farmers in Cumbria have been urged to take more steps to keep their valuables safe as rural crime is increasing in the county.

The Country, Land and Business Association says dark night and economic uncertainly are to blame. They want farmers to look around their businesses with the eyes of a thief and then do whatever is necessary to protect their belongings.

Farms are often seen as easy targets as they isolated, unmonitored by CCTV and in a maze of country lanes.

Farmer Chris Addison said it was up the farmers to become more proactive, that the days of being able to leave doors unlocked and keys in ignitions has long gone.

"Farmers can be very laid back and relaxed about the situation and I think they have got to be a lot more proactive and check their farm every night and lock up.

They should also report any movement to police and be in contact with the police."

– Chris Addison

The CLA believes rural crime is an increasing problem.

"I think that the state of the economy and ther fragility of the economy means that criminals are looking to be more active and I think we see and increase in rural crime at this time of year because of the long dark nights."

– Dorothy Fairburn, CLA

Fuel and heating oil are more at risk of being stolen following the rise in its cost. Mr Addison double locks his fuel tanks and keeps them out of view, he suggests little steps may make all the difference in the fight against crime in the countryside.